Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles Series #2)
  • Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles Series #2)
  • Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles Series #2)

Blade of Fire (The Icemark Chronicles Series #2)

4.6 46
by Stuart Hill
     
 

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Many years have passed since Queen Thirrin and her allies defended the Icemark against a brutal invasion. But now General Bellorum is back, along with his bloodthirsty spawn, twin sons even more vicious than him. Thirrin and Oskan also have a family: two girls and three boys. But darkness lurks within the House of Lindenshield: Medea, the couple's cold-hearted… See more details below

Overview

Many years have passed since Queen Thirrin and her allies defended the Icemark against a brutal invasion. But now General Bellorum is back, along with his bloodthirsty spawn, twin sons even more vicious than him. Thirrin and Oskan also have a family: two girls and three boys. But darkness lurks within the House of Lindenshield: Medea, the couple's cold-hearted, fifteen-year-old daughter, who's just coming into her magical powers, may be the downfall of the kingdom. It's up to her brother, Charlemagne, crippled by polio as a child, to return from exile and rescue the land he loves.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kirkus
A huge (in every way) disappointment, this bloated sequel to Cry of the Icemark (2005) bogs down a tale terrific at its core in a mire of uninspired subplots, unnecessary explanations and predictable set pieces. Twenty years later, crazed general Scipio Bellorum is again massing troops to invade the chilly Icemark. Suspecting that not even her nonhuman allies will be enough to turn the tide this time, Queen Thirrin sends Charlemagne, youngest of her five children, overseas to safety–
but “Sharley” has other ideas, and even though hobbled by both polio and adolescent lack of confidence, he embarks on a quest to find new allies. Watching him grow, mature and meet new (if not particularly original) peoples provides the same fascination that his mother's similar journey supplied in the previous episode. Compelled to give nearly every character a point of view, though,
Hill keeps putting Sharley's part on hold while cycling tediously through an unwieldy Icemark cast.
Eventually the foes all come together, Sharley charges in with dark-skinned armies from “Arifica”
mounted on horses and zebras, the cardboard villains are washed away in fountains of blood and
Sharley's truly bad-apple witch sister Medea is dispatched to another dimension–doubtless to await the next sequel. Some good parts, but not enough to meet expectations. (Fantasy. 11-13)
Publishers Weekly
PW called The Cry of the Icemark "a sprawling military fantasy that benefits from a likable heroine." In the sequel, Blade of Fire by Stuart Hill, that heroine, Queen Thirrin, finds herself facing Bellorum again. After raising an army of Wolf-folk and Snow Leopards in the previous novel, Thirrin and the warlock Oskan must enlist their help once more, along with the couple's five gifted children. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Stephanie Guerra
In Stuart Hill's second installment of "The Icemark Chronicles," snow leopards, humans, vampires, witches, and werewolves fight side by side to defend their land from a common enemy: the fascist military genius Scipio Bellorum and his bloodthirsty sons. Prince Charlemagne, youngest son of the royal defenders of Icemark, is hampered in defending his country by a lame leg. Bitter at his own uselessness, he leaves Icemark at the head of a party of exiles bound for the far-off Desert Lands. With the help of a new friend from this exotic country, Charlemagne is able to forge his true identity and return to the aid of his family and country. Above all, Blade of Fire is a war novel, replete with sensational attack scenes, dramatic deaths, and a fierce sense of good versus evil. Though for the most part high fantasy, the story incorporates humorous vulgarity and modern speech that render it a quick, entertaining read.
VOYA - Sarah Flowers
The events of this story take place some twenty years after Cry of the Icemark (Chicken House/Scholastic, 2005/VOYA June 2005). The Polypontian Empire and its vicious general Bellorum have been kept at bay. Now, however, Bellorum is once more planning a takeover of the Icemark, this time aided by his two sons and an unbeatable new technology. Queen Thirrin is rallying her allies—the snow leopards, the werewolves, the vampires, etc. —in preparation for the coming fight. The focus of the novel, however, is mainly on the children of Thirrin and the "witchfather" Oskan. Their oldest daughter, Cressida, is the warrior princess who will one day succeed Thirrin-if she can learn how to rule wisely. The twins, Eodred and Cedric, are soldiers. Medea inherited Oskan's Gift (magic) but is drawn to the dark side and seemingly has no loyalty to her family or country. The youngest, Charlemagne (Sharley), has a withered leg from polio and does not have the strength of a warrior, but is given the task of leading the ordinary people of the Icemark out of the war zone and into refuge in the southland, where he makes allies of the Desert People. Sharley's father has prophesied that Sharley will return from this exile with a "blade of fire" in his hand, and of course, he does. Again Hill provides an exciting story with interesting characters. Fantasy/adventure fans will enjoy this book and look forward to more from Hill.
KLIATT - Michele Winship
Book 2, sequel to The Cry of the Icemark, picks up the story of Thirrin and Oskan 20 years after their defeat of the Polypontian Empire. Scipio Bellorum, the evil leader of the Empire, has again built up his army's strength and is preparing to attack the Icemark while Queen Thirrin and Oskan Witchfather, along with their allies the Snow Leopards and Werewolves, muster their own to defend themselves against the Empire's new threat. The focus of the story is now on the five children of Thirrin and Oskan: Cressida, the heir; Eodred and Cerdic, the warrior twins; Medea, the holder of the Gift; and Charlemagne, "Sharly," the youngest at 14 whose lame leg has kept him from carrying on the Lindenshield warrior tradition. This is Sharly's story. He is sent to the far lands of the Desert People away from the war as regent over the Icemark refugees, but he finds himself growing into a true leader and fulfilling a prophecy to return with a blade of fire to save his homeland from Bellorum. However, another dark threat lurks unnoticed within the Icemark, which may prove even more deadly than the Empire's war machines. Fans of Hill's first book will be glad to see familiar characters and settings, including the odd mix of fantasy and horror creatures. Hints of Viking mythology and Moorish culture are woven throughout the story. Readers will be drawn to the likeable Sharly, cheering him on as he finds his place in the world.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8
In this story set 20 years after The Cry of the Icemark (Scholastic, 2005), Queen Thirrin and Oskan Witchfather now have five grown children who make up the royal House of Lindenshield. The book mainly focuses on Charlemagne, their youngest child. His greatest desire is to be a warrior and to defend his kingdom like all of the other members in his family. Unfortunately, he suffers from a physical ailment as a result of polio, which prevents him from satisfying his dream. To make matters worse, war has been waged between Icemark and its chronic nemesis Scipio Bellorum. Charlemagne is exiled for protection but leaves with the mystical promise that he will save Icemark from ultimate destruction. At the same time, his 15-year-old sister, Medea, begins using her magical powers to side with the enemy. What results is a typical high-fantasy novel complete with epic battles and a fight between good and evil. The characters contain little depth, and their actions are predictable despite situations that lend themselves to vast, creative transformations. Although fans of the first book may find pleasure in learning more about Queen Thirrin, this novel does not stand alone, often succumbing to trite plotlines and slow pacing. Readers of fantasy are more apt to enjoy Cornelia Funke's Inkheart (Scholastic, 2003) or one of the other novels from the increasingly abundant genre.
—Marie C. HansenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A huge (in every way) disappointment, this bloated sequel to Cry of the Icemark (2005) bogs down a tale terrific at its core in a mire of uninspired subplots, unnecessary explanations and predictable set pieces. Twenty years later, crazed general Scipio Bellorum is again massing troops to invade the chilly Icemark. Suspecting that not even her nonhuman allies will be enough to turn the tide this time, Queen Thirrin sends Charlemagne, youngest of her five children, overseas to safety-but "Sharley" has other ideas, and even though hobbled by both polio and adolescent lack of confidence, he embarks on a quest to find new allies. Watching him grow, mature and meet new (if not particularly original) peoples provides the same fascination that his mother's similar journey supplied in the previous episode. Compelled to give nearly every character a point of view, though, Hill keeps putting Sharley's part on hold while cycling tediously through an unwieldy Icemark cast. Eventually the foes all come together, Sharley charges in with dark-skinned armies from "Arifica" mounted on horses and zebras, the cardboard villains are washed away in fountains of blood and Sharley's truly bad-apple witch sister Medea is dispatched to another dimension-doubtless to await the next sequel. Some good parts, but not enough to meet expectations. (Fantasy. 11-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439841221
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/01/2007
Series:
Icemark Chronicles Series, #2
Pages:
584
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.79(d)
Lexile:
1090L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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